Published: Tuesday, February 22, 2011, 1:13 PM Updated: Tuesday, February 22, 2011, 1:40 PM
Syracuse, NY - A Syracuse man shot by police in what authorities said was an attempt to get himself killed was indicted today by a county grand jury.
Ravaun Mitchell, 19, of 148 Webster Ave., was indicted on three counts each of menacing a police officer and attempted aggravated assault upon a police officer and single counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree menacing.
He is accused of threatening Syracuse police officers Thomas Nicolini, Robert Newman and Rodney Fitzgerald with a knife at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses at 1900 W. Fayette St., the afternoon of Feb. 1.
Mitchell was shot by the police as he charged at them with a knife. Officials later said Mitchell told a detective he was trying to get the police to kill him and he wondered why they didn't shoot him in the heart.
The grand jury that indicted Mitchell concluded the officers acted properly in the confrontation with the armed man, Chief Assistant District Attorney Matthew Doran said.
According to Doran, Mitchell is accused of touching off the incident by threatening a church elder, Omar Ruggieri, with a knife. Ruggiero managed to get out of the building to call police.
When police arrived, Ruggieri was one of the people outside who gave officers a key to get into the building to go find the armed suspect, Doran said.
According to Doran, Newman fired his Taser and Nicolini and Fitzgerald both fired their department issued handguns as Mitchell allegedly rushed at them with the knife. The prosecutor declined to say how many shots were fired by the two officers, how many shots actually struck Mitchell and who fired the shots that hit him.
Mitchell suffered gunshot wounds to the shoulder and arm in the incident, Doran said.